For about ten days, I’ve owned the new Tecno Camon C8 and it has been an amazing device. We unboxed the device last week and there’s a video on that in this article. Tecno Camon C8’s major selling point is the camera and we actually tested this. More on that later as we go deeper into the review.
We may tend to focus particularly on the camera later on in the article as this is the main selling point of this device.
If you hold this phone for the first time, the first thing you notice is that it feels light for a 5.5″ device. I doesn’t feel bulky unlike other devices of the same screen size in the market right now. Again, the design is unique and doesn’t look like every other device around. I may be wrong though and I stand to be corrected.
Pros & Cons
What’s good: Compared with the last flagship device from Tecno, Tecno Camon C8 has a better battery with 3000mAh capacity. Tecno Camon C8 is well designed and looks like a premium device. Android L plays well with a 64-bit processor and phone performs well despite sporting only a 1.3Ghz quad-core processor. The camera also produces bright pictures that still retain quality when zoomed to a reasonable extent.
What’s not so good: The 1GB RAM on the phone puts a limit to how you multitask. You’re limited to 1GB of RAM capacity. However, this doesn’t imply that the phone is slow in anyway.
Before going into the review proper, you might be interested in the quick specifications.
- ROM: 16GB
- RAM: 1GB
- Display: 5″
- Resolution: 720×1280
- Micro SD: up to 32GB
- OS: Android 5.0 Lollipop
- Camera: 13MP primary, 5MP secondary
- Battery: 3000mAh
- Processor: 1.3GHz quad-core CPU (MediaTek MT6735 (64-bit)
We have the full technical specifications on this page.
Design & Physical Appearance
Tecno Camon C8 is beautifully designed and for a phablet, it doesn’t feel too heavy. I personally love the design and almost everything about it. The device has a 5.5″ screen with softkeys placed below the screen. The front camera is at the top-left with the LED flash and light sensor placed beside it.
The silver colored frame adds to the overall beauty of the device. At first glance, it looks like metal but it’s actually plastic.The home button and softkeys are backlit with white LED light. The home button also lights up and blinks when there’s a notification.
Bezels are getting thinner on smartphones and the general norm is that wide bezels are unappealing. The bezel on this device is minimal, it’s not particularly thin but very moderate.
The back cover is removable but the battery isn’t. The back cover has a leather grain texture and looks similar to that on the Phantom Z.
If you’re someone who has never used a phone with a dedicated camera button, you may find yourself mistakenly pressing the one on the lower right side of the phone.
This button makes it easier taking pictures and selfies with one hand. It’s even easier if you’re trying to take a selfie with the back camera. The power button is also on the upper part of the right side.
The back camera has a dual flash that enhances taking pictures in the dark. There’s a picture shown later in the post taken in pitch darkness. The 13MP camera isn’t just integrated with the rest of the back cover to blend in, it’s intentionally designed to stand out.
The removed back cover shows the 3000mAh battery, two sim slots (mini & micro) and a SD card slot.
The device has a 5.5″ HD screen with a resolution of 720×1280 and the display looks great. Images appear crystal clear and the display is enhanced by MiraVision engine.
Camera & Picture Quality
Tecno Camon C8 is a camera phone and of course, I was able to take some breathtaking pictures with very good quality. The pictures taken still maintain the quality and do not quickly get blurry when zoomed in. The colors look almost natural and this below was taken in broad daylight on a rather cloudy day:
Also, the pictures in the gallery below were taken during the day. The fixed aperture is f/2.8 but the shutter speed varies. Click on any of them for a larger image opened in lightbox.
And here’s one taken in pitch darkness around 11pm:
Low Light Photography Challenge: Tecno Camon C8 vs Huawei Honor 6 Plus
Considering the only source of light was the dual flash, the camera produced a good picture. However, I was expecting to see a night mode to further open up the aperture and slow down the shutter speed even more so as to take pictures without the flash. This would’ve been perfect for low light photography when you choose not to use the LED flash. I tried this and wasn’t too excited about the result:
And here is another picture taken with Huawei Honor 6 Plus from the same point right about the same time:
As you can see, the second image taken with Honor 6 Plus is more detailed. It was taken under the same lighting condition with no extra camera settings.
Anyway, both devices aren’t in the same price range and we shouldn’t even be comparing them, we are only doing some benchmarking here.
For a phone that costs around 20,000 NGN, the camera isn’t bad. With the dual flash enabled, it can take some pretty nice photos in the dark: I mean in pitch darkness without a single ray of light. Indoors with no flash, however, the picture appeared noisy when the lighting condition is rather poor.
The camera has different modes for shooting pictures. It supports High Dynamic Imaging (HDR) which enhances your pictures when used at the right time. There’s Face Beauty mode for enhancing faces in pictures, Panorama mode for taking a picture covering a wide angle while slowly moving the camera & PIP mode that uses the rear and front camera to produce a combined image.
I captured the image below in Panorama mode and I turned almost 180° to capture such a wide area. Surprisingly, the panorama shot blends the image almost perfectly despite my hand was a bit shaky:
I tried shooting a quick video on a rainy morning and here is the result below. I think you should watch the video at 720p to clearly judge the quality.
The 5MP front camera too is flash enabled and allows you take pictures even in the dark. I took a shot in broad daylight outdoors and the produced image look a bit too sharp though. Anyway, I’m not a selfie freak, I was more interested in the primary camera which performed well.
Software, Hardware & Performance
Tecno Camon C8 runs a customized version of Android Lollipop 5.0 (64-bit) but I’m assuming there’s a planned upgrade to Android 5.1. The UI is a customized and looks pretty good.
Google apps are pre-installed and there are others like Facebook, Opera Mini, UC Mini, DU Speed Booster and more.
The phone responds to touch and there’s no noticeable lag when navigating the phone. Tecno Camon C8 has a 1.3GHz 64-bit quad-core processor. Theoretically, 64-bit processors are faster and more efficient than 32-bit processors and the ART runtime now enabled on Lollipop makes it all better.
The mobile community believes 64-bit is the future of mobile technology and it’s a good thing seeing Tecno going in this direction.
The Antutu benchmark score too was impressive. It’s only 21,142 but believe me, it is impressive considering the fact that the device has a 1.3GHz quad-core processor and sports only a 1GB RAM.
A certain device reviewed on this blog having a 2GB RAM and a 1.3GHz quad-core processor scored only 18,198.
There’s a 16GB ROM out of which the OS takes about 5GB leaving a little over about 10GB left. That’s not really a problem as there’s a slot for external memory supporting up to 32GB SD card.
The phone has a 1GB random access memory. It’s sufficient but in this age, huge specs sound magical and a lot of people are of the opinion that the phone should’ve come with a 2GB RAM capacity.
Tecno Camon C8 also has the new proprietary music software found on Tecno Boom J7, Boom Player. I tried comparing the sound quality of the speaker with that of Tecno Phantom Z and I was amazed. It sounded way better than Tecno Phantom Z and the quality was good.
I should mention that I dislike the speaker placement though. It’s at the back of the device and this impairs that quality sound when playing music and the phone is lying on its back.
The non-removable battery has a capacity of 3000mAh that’s more than enough. I was able to use it for two days without charging but I must mention that I didn’t put the phone through much heavy use and I did some optimizations here and there. Mobile data was always turned off when not in use and I always killed background applications.
You can exhaust a 3000mAh battery in a day. We all have different use pattern when it comes to mobile phones.
The battery saving mode can get you going for hours with only 20% of battery left.
Tecno Camon C8 is 3G enabled and can also connect to the Internet through WiFi. You can also use your phone as a WiFi hotspot and share your internet connection.
For file transfer, it’s bluetooth enabled and you can as well transfer files via with other HotKnot enabled MediaTek devices.
At the moment, the phone isn’t yet available in stores but the information I got directly from tecno Mobile suggests the price should be a little bit over 20,000 NGN.
Price starting from 20,000 on Jumia: Buy Now
Price starting from 20,000 on Konga: Buy Now
Is this a phone I would recommend? The short answer to that is “Yes”. The battery is a big plus and that fact that it’s not just another Kitkat phone makes it better. The sleek design makes it look like a high-end device plus the camera gives some great shots in daylight. If there’s anything missing in the phone, it’s a night mode feature to shoot pictures without the need to use LED flash.
However, the price tag puts it in an interesting position as there are devices in the market within the same price range offering higher specifications. But for anyone who wants a phablet that can capture good pictures and who considers that top priority, Tecno Camon C8 is a multimedia phone and it’s your best bargain in this price range.